5

Throughout the score there are various CX, CVII signs and the alla breve sign (which is obviously not Alla Breve). From what I could gather, these are fingering instructions for the pinky (C), but I couldn't find a full explanation.

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The source can be found here:

What are these and how do I read them?

3
  • That 1st sign looks exactly like a cut 4/4 sign. Maybe the printers didn't have a better one?
    – Tim
    May 2 at 16:48
  • @Tim you mean a 2/2 sign? This is otherwise known as alla breve, as noted in the question.
    – phoog
    May 3 at 10:54
  • @phoog - C is another way to write 4/4. Cut C - cut 4/4. Yes, alla breve or 2/2.
    – Tim
    May 3 at 11:18

3 Answers 3

6

They're fret numbers. Sometimes they refer to that fret barred, sometimes (as in the sign lke cut time) they refer to a part barre. The lowest notes are usually best left played as open, although here, CV refers to fret 5, so the low A could be played on 6th string, fret 5 - BUT - since it's a half barre, it indicates play it open. The D, on the other hand (sic) might be better played fretted at 10, as indicated, making the staccato easier to perform.

1

The C with a slash through means a half-barre of some sort 2 - 5 strings as the harmony dictates.

The straight C probably indicates a full barre but the notation is awkward.

The position is indicated with Roman Numerals as is the tradition.

I - One

II - Two

III - Three

IV - Four

V - Five

VI - Six

VII - Seven

VIII - Eight

IV - Nine

X - Ten

XI - Eleven

XII - Twelve.

1

These are fret numbers, as @Tim already said, but they do not necessarily indicate full or partial barré. They indicate position. This sometimes does mean a barré, sometimes it indicates just the playing position on the fretboard.

PS: as requested in the comment: the position is indicated by a "C" followed by a roman numeral, i.e. "CIV" for fourth position or "CVII" for seventh position. It indicates the "root fret" for the hand position on the fretboard, which sometimes means to play a full or partial barré, sometimes it just indicates the finger position.

For instance: playing a am7 chord as A-x-g-c'-e'-x (5th fret, A-string and e-string muted)) would also be 5th position without any barré involved.

1
  • Could you be more explicit about what symbol means what position?
    – Aaron
    May 3 at 13:50

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